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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2007 Oct;85(10):986-96.

Ubiquinol-cytochrome-c reductase 7.2 kDa protein of mitochondrial complex III is steroid-responsive and increases in cardiac hypertrophy and hypertension.

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Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Sir Mortimer B. Davis-Jewish General Hospital, 3755 chemin Côte Sainte Catherine, Montréal, Quebec, Canada.


Women and men do not respond identically to cardiac insults; premenopausal women are somewhat protected from cardiovascular disease. Our objective was to isolate and characterize hormone-responsive genes in the heart. Differential display identified an estrogen-inducible fragment that was found to encode the ubiquinol-cytochrome-c reductase (UCCR) 7.2 kDa protein of the mitochondrial respiratory complex III. We found UCCR7.2 mRNA to be highly expressed in the heart, and this expression increased in hearts of 4-, 10-, and 28-week-old spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) compared with normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats. Oral hydralazine treatment to reduce hypertension reduced SHR UCCR7.2 expression. Cardiac UCCR7.2 mRNA expression was also increased significantly after a 5/6 nephrectomy compared with mock surgery. Cardiac expression after ovariectomy was 50% that of intact rats. Supplementation of ovariectomized rats with estrogen had no effect, whereas progesterone increased cardiac expression, although not to intact levels. No change in cardiac UCCR7.2 expression was found when intact rats were treated with either tamoxifen or ICI 182780. Thus, UCCR7.2 expression is reduced in the absence of ovarian hormones, but is not directly regulated by estrogen in the heart. We conclude that UCCR7.2 is a steroid hormone-responsive gene in the heart, with expression increased in cardiac hypertrophy and in response to hypertension.

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